By KELIN DILLON
On Wednesday, Feb. 8, a group of 21 U.S. state attorneys wrote a letter to President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken requesting the official declaration of Mexico’s cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) under U.S. law.
“The intense violence of the cartels goes far beyond mere resistance to interference with their drug trade and now encompasses a general effort to intimidate rivals and expand their influence. This violence, which necessarily involves the use of firearms and explosives to kill security forces, clearly constitutes terrorist activity,” detailed the coalition of state prosecutors, all of which belong to the Republican party.
The letter went on to mention that more than 100,000 U.S. citizens died from drug overdoses in 2022, more than half of which were purportedly caused by fentanyl, a often-deadly synthetic opioid produced in Mexico from raw materials imported from China. These substances are then trafficked by Mexican cartels into the United States in large quantities, with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection reportedly seizing 8,425 pounds of fentanyl between just October 2021 and June 2022 alone.
“These cartels are doing much more than smuggling poison into the United States. They are assassinating rivals and government officials, ambushing and killing Americans at the border, and participating in an armed insurgency against the Mexican government,” continued the letter, which went on to accuse Mexican cartels of collaborating with other foreign terrorist organizations, though these claims remain unsubstantiated without evidence.
According to the U.S. prosecutors, officially designating Mexican cartels as FTOs will allow U.S. state and federal prosecutors to deny entry to the United States to cartel members, freeze cartel assets, and place heavier punishments on cartel accomplices, as well as make more resources available to fight the opioid crisis.
The group of state attorneys then went on to express their lack of faith in the Mexican government’s ability to stop the flow of fentanyl and drugs into the United States, saying that “the existence of such forces on the other side of our southwestern land border and the Mexican government’s inability to control them pose a far greater threat to our national security than a typical drug-trafficking enterprise,” perhaps in reference to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) controversial “hugs, not bullets” non-violence policy toward Mexico’s organized crime groups.
For his part, Biden dedicated a portion of his Tuesday, Feb. 7, State of the Union Address to express his intentions on combating the ongoing U.S. opioid crisis.
“Let’s launch a major effort to stop the production, sale and trafficking of fentanyl, with more drug-detection machines to inspect cargo and stop pills and powder at the border,” said Biden at the time, who’s recently held meetings with both López Obrador and Chinese leader Xi Jinping to discuss ways to address this international drug problem.
The US (President Trump, continued by President Biden) was happy to designate the entire neighboring country of Cuba as a terroristic organization. Which of course it is not. It seems like this would be fairly straightforward by comparison.